Saving money and knowing how to spend your money frugally can be difficult, especially when you have a family. There are so many daily expenses, not to mention your household bills, car payments, child care expenses, food, transportation, clothing and the list goes on. Try to throw a bit of money in the pot for a little entertainment and it seems like your budget has gone out the window. I am not a financial expert. I do not have education in the financial arena. However, I am a mother of four children and my husband and I have been able to raise a family on one income for 26 years.
When my husband and I married, we wanted more than anything to be able to have one parent stay home to raise our children. After our third child was born, it was impossible to pay for daycare and I could no longer leave three children with my aging mother-in-law, who up to that point, was looking after my two firstborn. I stopped working all together – I was working part-time at that point – and remained home to look after our kids. Even before this time, though, we were leading a life of putting money into our savings and living as simply and frugally as possible. So, when the time came for me to stay home full time, it was not such a big leap.
As a mother, I was so glad I was able to be at home full time with my kids. Personally, I think it makes a world of difference in a family. I know some would disagree, and everyone has to manage their families as best they can, but being with my kids gave me an opportunity to be in their lives each and every day. I feel extremely lucky. I feel lucky, but my husband and I did have to work at making our situation, our one-income family, a reality. It wasn’t handed to us.
My husband and I live in Ajax, a town east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with our four now-grown children. (I don’t think they are leaving anytime soon!) My kids range in age from 25 to 20 and were all born within approximately 18 months of each other. I always wanted a close-knit family, having come from a family where my siblings are separated by several years. Raising the kids was difficult as my husband worked afternoons and so was gone from about 1:00 in the afternoon until about 11:00 at night. When you look back, that time has gone so quickly. Having four kids made us learn how to economize but still live a very comfortable life. We own our own home and have for a number of years now. We’ve always eaten well, had clothes for the kids, had vehicles, paid our bills, took a couple of vacations with the kids, and we are now at a point that my husband and I can travel with relative freedom.
House of Six, I’m hoping, is a forum to show you how you can live on one income, even in today’s crazy economy, and have a comfortable, well-lived life. As I said, I’m no expert but a mom with some experience on how to make a dollar stretch. I hope you will participate in this blog with me. Let’s get some great discussions going on how you can make things work on one income or how you would like to go about setting up your household so you can live on one income. It’s not easy. It takes work but, believe me, it can be done.